North America

Mapa participante norteamérica

These are the inspiration models corresponding to North America: Miami Symphony Orchestra, Sistema USA, Sistema YOLA and Sistema Ravinia, which are driven by the ideology and principles of our founding director, conforming, within their own nature, into application spaces for the music education, based on the teaching methodology of El Sistema that seeks its own social and artistic result at a national and international level.


1. Sistema New Brunswick

Their mission is to inspire children and youth to reach their full potential through learning and performing orchestral music.

Its vision is to be a world-leading, innovative and hope-inspiring music education program, distinguished for its excellence and for having a positive impact on children, youth and the communities where it is implemented.

They are a program close to the principles and methodology of El Sistema.


1. Miami Symphony Orchestra

It is an educational program founded in 1989 by the late director Manuel Ochoa and, since 2006, the baton has been in the hands of maestro Eduardo Marturet, Venezuelan composer and conductor, acclaimed in several countries.

It is a program inspired by the ideology and philosophy of Maestro José Antonio Abreu, thus conforming, in a space of application for musical education, based on the teaching methodology of El Sistema, seeking to achieve within its own nature, the social and artistic result flag of El Sistema at the national and international level.

In 2020, they signed a cooperation agreement with the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela, to create a new and innovative musical educational platform in South Florida, as well as to carry out musical activities together.

2. Sistema USA

It is an organization whose mission is to support and grow a national movement of programs inspired by El Sistema, to achieve social change through music in children with the fewest resources and with the greatest need.

Its director is Angélica Cortez, who works at the intersection of music, justice and education. Her work focuses artists, activists and communities, actively creating a more equitable art field. As a youth contributor, art administrator, and trumpeter, her passion lies in creating a space for students to tap into their own gifts, challenge the world around them, and build community.

3. Orquesta Juvenil de Los Ángeles – YOLA

Inspired by the musical teaching model of El Sistema, the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra YOLA is the educational program of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA PHIL), created in 2007.

YOLA EXPO, located in the Expo Center, is the first initiative south of Los Angeles with 3 orchestras, chamber music and parent groups.

YOLA HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles) serves students with orchestral instruction after school, 5 days a week.

YOLA LACHSA is located at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, its high school students receive music instruction and academic tutoring on a weekly basis.

YOLA Neighborhood Project is about building healthy communities, offering universal access to music, this experience, together with the LA Phil and linked to El Sistema, has allowed the performance of concerts with the most important orchestras in the world and the joint performance of more than 1000 children from schools and YOLA.

4. Sistema Ravinia

It is an intensive and transformative orchestral music education program that fosters social development through exceptional music training for third through eighth grade students in Chicago and Lake County public schools. Drawing inspiration from El Sistema’s influential model, students in the program receive daily orchestral and ensemble instruction on their instrument. The first Ravinia System site was launched at Catalyst Circle Rock School, located in the Austin, Chicago neighborhood. With the success of the Circle Rock site, the Ravinia System expanded to Lake County in October 2015, using our own Bennett Gordon Hall as a program site.

5. Harmony Program

It began as a pilot program in the New York City Mayor’s Office in 2003, and was incorporated as an independent non-profit organization the following year. In 2008, Harmony established an institutional partnership with the City University of New York and was relaunched in its current model with an emphasis on intensive instruction, co-performance, and teacher training.

The Harmony Program was founded by Anne Fitzgibbon, who studied and worked with the National System of Orchestras and Youth and Children’s Choirs of Venezuela.

It is a program that has adapted the model and philosophy of El Sistema to the unique needs of its communities. Since 2008, they have collaborated with neighborhood schools, community organizations, cultural institutions, and universities. These associations continue to strengthen their ability to provide instrumental music education to children who might not otherwise discover the joy and many benefits of making music.

6. Sistema Utah

Sistema Utah’s mission is to provide musical instruction to foster life-long qualities of refined character. We believe that music education works in beautiful tandem with academic learning and provides a positive outlet and identity for students of all ages, backgrounds and circumstances.

Launched in October 2013, we service nearly 350 students in grades 1-12 between two sites in West Valley City, Utah. Offered Monday through Friday for three hours daily, our students receive the following classes as part of their daily schedule: group music instruction, general music class, singing class and homework help. Instruments that we offer are: violin, viola, cello, flute, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet, percussion, bucket band and piano.

A highlight of our program are our performing groups: Sistema Strings, Secondary Sistema Strings, Secondary Orchestra Ensemble and Secondary Band Ensemble.

Sistema Utah has won five Utah Best of State Awards in the following categories: 2020 – Community Music Program, Arts in Education, Performing Arts: Musical Instruments; 2021 – Community Music Program, Performing Arts: Musical Instruments.

It is our goal to help change the world through music one student and one family at a time.

7. Boston String Academy (BSA)

It is a non-profit organization that provides rigorous instruction on string instruments to children in underserved communities. The program is based on the Venezuelan philosophy of El Sistema that uses music as a vehicle for social change.

BSA aims to provide instruction of the highest quality, laying a musical foundation that could land a child in college or conservatory. Instruction of this caliber is something that is traditionally available only to higher-income students, whose parents have the means to pay for private instruction.

The BSA program makes mastering a string instrument accessible by removing the obstacles that stand in the way of a downtown family.

BSA was founded in 2012 by graduates of the Boston Conservatory: Marielisa and Mariesther Álvarez and Taide Prieto, accomplished violinists and cellists who are also graduates of El Sistema de Venezuela and the counterpart program in Peru. The 3 lived the social and musical mission of El Sistema: they felt the need to create a program in Boston that models their experience of El Sistema, a program that nurtures both the individual person and the musician at the same time.

8. Caesura Youth Orchestra (CYO)

It is a charity based on the El Sistema model to provide urban youth with a positive community where they can, through music, experience a break from the negative impact of drugs, gangs and the economy.

CYO participates in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Youth Orchestras project.

9. Classical Music Institute (CMI)

Established as the educational program of the San Antonio Chamber Orchestra, CMI debuted in the summer of 2016.

CMI provides classical music education to the youth of Bexar County during a 2-week, one-year outreach program.

They have a long-term goal to partner with local school districts to establish a year-round accredited institute by fall 2020 and 2021.

10. Harmony School of Music

Based on the acclaimed El Sistema educational system that was designed by José Antonio Abreu and implemented for the first time in Venezuela. Harmony Sistema cultivates the development of character, leadership and the acquisition of musical skills, with the purpose of achieving positive social change.

It is structured to develop musical skills and confidence during the first years of participation. Older students mentor younger students who develop nuanced musical ability and leadership skills, while increasing self-confidence. All students are rewarded with the fun and camaraderie of playing as part of a group.

Harmony Sistema upholds the core values of El Sistema, including equity, empowerment, excellence, impact, sustainability, joy and community. Harmony Sistema offers free and intensive music instruction to students in the schools that host the program.

11. Make Music NOLA

Make Music NOLA is a community-based organization located at the Bell Artspace Campus in the heart of the Treme. The program began in a converted Walgreens in the Lower 9th Ward with just five students. Since then it has grown to seven locations around the City, including five charter schools and two community centers.

MMN primarily offers group instruction on string instruments, violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Every student enrolled in the program receives four hours of music instruction a week, two hours of group string class, and orchestra, music theory, chamber music, or an alternate elective on Saturdays.

MMN also offers K-6 general music and a three-credit college level music theory and history class at Bard Early College New Orleans during the school day. Additionally, MMN performs over fifteen public concerts a year and holds guest artist visits, workshops, and master classes at all program sites each year.

12. Boulder Muse

It is a program that offers music education for children, many whose families cannot afford private music lessons or to participate in an after-school choir.

During the pandemic, they have taught Violin, Guitar, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet and Flute lessons to selected students online, using Zoom.

13. Youth Enlightenment

It is a musical program that works for the integral development, through the collective practice of music, of each person they reach.
His vision is to produce a positive transformation by focusing on our youth and expanding into their families and communities, providing them the opportunity to grow and a brighter future with purpose.

Through the collective practice of music they will gain opportunities for scholarships and careers in the industry.


El Sistema in the world


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